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Ecoseed News:
North Caucasus hydropower to increase with three new projects from RusHydro

North Caucasus hydropower to increase with three new projects from RusHydro

Three small hydropower plants developed by RusHydroare set to begin construction...

Discrediting advertisements on carbon pollution standards outrages organizations

Discrediting advertisements on carbon pollution standards outrages organizations

The Natural Resources Defense Council, and more than two dozen organizations, is...

Supercritical steam for super productive solar thermal plants

Supercritical steam for super productive solar thermal plants

By using supercritical steam, solar thermal power plants could produce enough en...

Nepal gets first wind-solar hybrid system

Nepal gets first wind-solar hybrid system

The Asian Development Bank has handed over the country’s very first wind-solar h...

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Nutrition plays a critical role in everyone’s chance at a better future. Hunger...

Chile’s largest solar power project officially open

Chile’s largest solar power project officially open

The 100 megawatt Amanercer Solar CAP Power plant in Chile has been officially op...

Five gigantic things happening in sustainability

Five gigantic things happening in sustainability

Understanding this mainly becoming typical ‘S’ word has always been part of the ...

Business

The Bioplastics industry in Korea – Where to next?

The Bioplastics industry in Korea – Where to next?

Thursday, 10 July 2014

The global bioplastics market is booming – total production capacity is set to grow 400% by 2017, and the European Commission has designatedbioplastic...

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Technology

Politics

Living Green

Elemooni: Eco-friendliness for kids

Elemooni: Eco-friendliness for kids

Thursday, 10 July 2014

A new group of nano explorers could change the way children learn about positive values, the environment, and believe it or not, the periodic table of...

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Renewables

Siemens welcomes Crown Estate’s new seabed rights for wave and tidal power

Siemens welcomes Crown Estate’s new seabed rights for wave and tidal power

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Siemens welcomes The Crown Estate’s announcement of agreed seabed rights for new demonstration zones and project sites around the United Kingdom’s coa...

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Low-Carbon

Opinion

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Unsustainable urban life: What's next?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Nutrition plays a critical role in everyone’s chance at a better future. Hunger, said Benjamin Franklin once, is the best pickle. Some say “pickle”...

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Researchers look into bacteria-powered water desalination process


Bruce Logan, Kappe professor of environmental engineering (right) and Maha Mehanna, postdoctoral fellow (left) are already at work on the next generation of microbial
desalination cells based on using air cathodes.
Image Courtesy of Penn State Live

A team of researchers from China and the US say bacteria that occur in wastewater can actually be used to produce energy needed in water desalination.

Researchers from the Penn State University and Tsinghua University in Beijing are working on “microbial fuel cells.” In this device, naturally occurring bacteria in the wastewater consume organic material, producing electricity.

The microbial desalination cell first cleans water by removing organic material from it. This process produces electricity which can then be used to desalinate water so that it can be safe for drinking.

Currently, it takes a lot of electricity to desalinate water, which is accomplished in many locations using a process called reverse osmosis, one that pushes water under high pressure through membranes that allow water to pass but not salt.

The researchers, however, admit that the system still has to be improved. In their tests, it took 200 milliliters of artificial wastewater containing acetic acid to desalinate just 3 milliliters of salty water. Another concern is that bacteria that run the cell might have a problem living in highly acidic environments, which happens in the cell as protons work their way from one electrode to another.

“This is not a practical system yet as it is not optimized, but it is proof of concept," Bruce Logan, Kappe professor of environmental engineering at Penn State, said.

The study was reported in a recent online issue of Environmental Science and Technology. It was supported by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.


- Katrice R. Jalbuena



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Reference:

1 http://live.psu.edu/story/40817

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